Southampton boss Mark Hughes admitted his side’s dismal start against Manchester City cost them dearly in Sunday’s 6-1 mauling. Saints were put to the sword by the Premier League champions as City ran out huge winners at the Etihad, scoring three goals in the first 18 minutes.
Hughes’ side were always on the back foot and even though they ended their barren run in front of goal, when Danny Ings struck a 30th-minute penalty, it never felt like changing the game with City scoring again on the stroke of half-time and then adding two more after the break.
“That is the game gone right from the outset,” Hughes said. “Any other work you have prepared and the game plan you want to implement goes out the window.”
Southampton kept battling and had six shots on target, the most City have faced in the league this season, to offer some encouragement. “It is difficult when you are down,” Hughes added. “You can’t over-commit because Man City have the ability to run over the top of you and it gets even more embarrassing.
“Six-one is not a result we take any pride in but the fact we were trying to create chances when the game was gone shows the character was good.”